Kirk and I are finally home owners! We signed the papers Monday 28th, just 4 days after our 10th wedding anniversary. We joked that I bought him a pretty fabulous anniversary present, and his gift to me, even more generous, is to pay the mortgage.
Our new home is 1559 square feet of ranch house built in 1954, on .76 acres of property, just 2 miles from the center of Raleigh. It has most of what we were looking for in a home: close to the city center but on a decent size property, enough room for my studio, a guest room, wood floors, great light, a couple of dogwood trees for Kirk, a covered porch. The neighborhood is generally thought to be a smart place to invest, with the city planning to draw more businesses to the shopping center across the road from us, and to make the road itself more pedestrian friendly.
There are drawbacks too of course. The street is two lanes of fast moving (and loud) traffic, there are some pressing repairs which need to be done, the half bath was left half way through a renovation, the roof will need to be redone at some point in the next few years as will the master bath, no gas line = no gas stove for me.
In fact, though I have wanted to own my own home for as long as I can remember, I got a serious case of cold feet right before closing. ‘Can we still get out of this?’ I wondered as we drove to the lawyer’s office. Totally normal everyone has assured me.
Our friend Amy happened to be coming through town on a business trip, and due to some unfortunate circumstances (a.k.a getting her purse stolen) she got stranded. It was lucky timing for us because she rolled her sleeves up and got stuck in, helping us pack, get the house ready, and move in. She and I spent Day 1 of home ownership scrubbing the house from top to bottom.
One of the previous owner’s of the house built a tiki bar in the all weather room. The guy we bought it from had removed the bamboo poles and grass roof, leaving a less than glamorous result. We decided it had to go, so Day 2 involved Amy and I ripping it to pieces.
The all weather room (I guess it’s also called a ‘Florida room’) was also sporting some stained and smelly carpet, which definitely had to go. We’re thinking we will either sand blast the concrete to remove the remaining glue, or put in laminate flooring.
We’re still in the process of moving in, boxes and furniture everywhere but we spent our first night last night, celebrating with beers, chocolate ice cream and an episode of Nurse Jackie.
One little gem of of the move was that I found these photos of my mother while unpacking books in my studio. For those of you who read my post about our trip to New York last year, here are pictures of my mom working on the Susan B. Anthony runner for The Dinner Party project. Isn’t she gorgeous??
I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, because this is what she wanted us to do with my share of the inheritance. The last couple of months have been such a mix of sour and sweet moments, such a mad rush that I have sometimes felt that I’m standing at the center of a whirlwind, watching it all move around me. I’m looking forward to settling in, getting to sit still for a minute, soak it all in.